Early years[ edit ] The Kenosha Evening News was first published on the afternoon of October 22, During its first two years of publication, the newspaper had a circulation of fewer than copies. The number of copies sold daily increased to 1, at the turn of the 20th century, and to more than 3, by After World War I , daily circulation tripled, to nearly 10, in By , the figure topped 18, Today's Kenosha News circulation averages around 22, copies.
In those days, it was common for a newspaper to openly support one of the political parties, and the Evening News was no exception. It would be, Hall declared, "dedicated to the principles" of the then-dominant Republican Party. The venerable weekly, which continued as a sister publication to the Evening News, became the springboard for Hall's new daily. The early Evening News was a simple six-column, four-page broadsheet, printed on a cylinder press and folded by hand.
Its first subscriber, reportedly, was Johnson A. Jackson, secretary-treasurer of a local factory that manufactured baby furniture. Head, who, two years later, would own the Evening News.
In the earliest days, national and world news was reprinted, mostly from Chicago and Milwaukee papers, with the inevitable delays. In , during the Spanish—American War , the News tentatively experimented with a more timely approach.
It received a brief daily telegraphed summary of war news from the American Press Association. For the first seven years of Evening News George W. Johnston was city editor, the paper's only reporter and general jack-of-all-trades.
He later bought his own newspaper, becoming editor and publisher of the Campbellsport News. Until he purchased the papers, the year-old Head had been associated with his father's lumber business. Head ran the business and wrote editorials, with Johnston continuing to gather and write the local news. In , they were joined by George P. Hewitt of Appleton, Wisconsin. The new partners formed a successful team, with Head managing the business end of things, and Hewitt, a trained newsman, handling the editorial duties.
The Kenosha Evening News became one of the first "homeprint" newspapers in Wisconsin, with the entire issue printed locally in its downtown plant. Head and Hewitt also built a thriving real estate company. In , to accommodate advertising demands, the size of the daily was doubled, from four to eight pages. By the end of the nineteenth century, the Evening News was on a solid business footing.
Early 20th century[ edit ] In , George Hewitt left the Evening News to enter the automobile industry. His interest in the paper was sold to Samuel S. Simmons, a member of another prominent Kenosha family and nephew of local industrial giant Zalmon G.
Simmons of the Simmons Bedding Company. Genial Sam Simmons left a position with the Chicago Gas Company to edit his hometown daily newspaper. When Hewitt left the paper in , so did George Johnston, who was replaced as city editor by Walter T. Marlatt, a Hoosier and the first of a family of newsmen who would be associated with the Evening News for a half century. In , the linotype and a technique called stereotyping , a process for molding semi-circular printing plates for the new rotary press, were introduced.
Before the newspaper got its first linotype machine — it would add two more in and, eventually own 13 before they were replaced by computer-generated typesetting in the s — all type was hand set. The linotype machine did away with the letter-by-letter, line-by-line manual task, casting entire lines of type in molten metal, degrees hot. The linotype was an automatic, keyboard-operated machine that had been invented about 20 years earlier and still was not in common use.
The linotype clicked and clacked, whirred and vibrated. One by one, slugs of lead type were molded, a line at a time, six lines a minute, an hour. A typical operator might set 10, words of newspaper copy each work shift. On September 7, , Eugene Head died suddenly at the age of Head had taken the struggling newspaper and built it into one of the most successful dailies in southern Wisconsin in less than 20 years.
His death brought a reorganization of Head-Simmons Publishing Co. City editor Walter Marlatt became editor. Marlatt had begun his journalism career in as a cub reporter in Indiana. After newspaper jobs in Indianapolis, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, he had come to Kenosha in as headmaster of a private school.
Kingsley, who started as bookkeeper in and advanced to assistant business manager, became business manager. Eugene's son, Clarence E. Head, who joined the paper in and would remain active in its management for nearly 59 years, was named assistant business manager. On March 8, , Simmons died suddenly at age The death of the well-liked publisher caused a major disruption of the business for almost eight months, until Simmons' estate was settled. It purchased the entire holdings of the Head-Simmons Publishing Co.
Marlatt became president, Head became vice president and assistant business manager and Kingsley served as secretary-treasurer and business manager. Marlatt was an energetic and enlightened progressive, actively promoting a number of important civic causes. He served on the city council for six years and was considered the father of Kenosha's public health and park ordinances. It was during Marlatt's watch that the Evening News took on some of the key editorial elements of a modern newspaper, including a sports page and a society section that, unlike many Wisconsin papers of that era, was allowed to give fair coverage to the women's suffrage movement.
In the summer of , the paper joined the Associated Press and received a bulletin service by long distance telephone , supplemented by mailed releases. Then, for several years, the Evening News relied on a telegraphed bulletin service, usually not more than a single column of late news each day. In , United Press service was added to AP, an hour and a half a day of telegraphed news highlights. Two years later, AP's full-time leased wire service was installed.
At that time, the newspaper hired Charlotte "Charlie" Oakes, an experienced operator from South Dakota to monitor the machine that transcribed the incoming news stories on a typewriter. An automatic teletype machine , which was 50 percent faster than the best Morse operator, was introduced to the newsroom in It could produce both typed copy and punched ticker tape to be fed directly into the linotypes.
These clattering devices continued to bring the world to the Evening News editorial office until the advent of a computerized system in the mids. Wire service news gave the local paper an advantage over its Milwaukee and Chicago newsstand rivals. Besides its coverage of local happenings, the Evening News could, because of its later deadlines, bring readers more late-breaking national and international news than the competing big city papers.
Later, in , radio added another dimension to Evening News coverage of events elsewhere in the country and the world. A powerful receiver was installed in the editor's office and monitored for breaking news reports.
The first news of President Warren Harding 's death in August reached the editorial office by radio. Radio broadcasts also usually beat the wire services with sports scores and stock market reports. The Evening News also subscribed to the Newspaper Enterprise Association , which supplied features, non-timely interpretive stories, illustrations and photographs in matrix form. That all changed April 1, , when the company organized its own "guaranteed" delivery service to some Kenosha homes.
Within three years, 4, homes in the city and in other smaller communities in Kenosha County were getting doorstep delivery. By the newspaper's 30th anniversary, in , there were 80 people on its payroll and 58 carrier boys delivering papers throughout the county. In April , Walter Marlatt became ill at his desk and died a short time later at home. His brother, city editor Ernest F. Marlatt, was promoted to editor and corporate secretary.
The younger Marlatt, with a master's degree from Harvard , had come to the News in from Indiana , where he had been a high school principal and superintendent of schools.
As city editor , he supervised the two general assignment reporters who covered government, police and courts. He remained in the editor's chair for 23 years, during which time his staff grew to eight. Business operations were assumed by Kingsley, who became publisher and president. He led the corporation until his death in , guiding the newspaper safely though the Depression. Meanwhile, the circulation of the Evening News, under the guidance of Willis H.
Schulte, had shifted almost entirely to home delivery, through the development of a carrier-merchant plan. The News also became a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations , assuring advertisers of accurate circulation figures. Schulte, who began his long association with the paper as a seven-year-old newsboy in , was 17 when he was placed in charge of circulation.
As his career progressed into six decades, it was estimated that he had supervised and influenced some 6, newspaper carrier boys and girls. In later years, his work was carried on in the circulation department, first by Frank Sisk, and now by James F. Shortly before the formal opening of the remodeled building, longtime editor Ernie Marlatt suffered a heart attack at his desk and died.
Lee Hancock, an experienced newsman from Superior, Wisconsin , arrived as managing editor in June When Marlatt died, he assumed direction of the newsroom, and, eventually, in , was formally promoted to editor.
Schulte became general manager in , and, corporate president upon Ralph S. After Bill Schulte died on April 26, , his long record of civic activities was recognized with the naming of a 3.
Brown , a newspaperman with experience in Chicago , Cleveland and at several small dailies in the east. Nor is it a way of life or even a philosophy. Newspapering, in short, is a delightful disease, the only cure for which is heavier doses of the same. In the s, the Kenosha News offices at Seventh Avenue and 58th Street underwent its third major remodeling, which included the replacement of its old letterpress with the first Goss Cosmo offset press ever built, and, perhaps the most revolutionary, computerized typesetting.